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Three rides now offered in 2001

APHA takes trail ride program to Philmont Scout Ranch this spring

FORT WORTH—The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) recreational riding program will cover exciting new ground this spring, with the addition of a ride at the Philmont Scout Ranch in historic Cimarron, New Mexico, April 30–May 4.

The addition of the Scout Ranch ride means APHA will coordinate rides at three locations this year, all within about a day’s drive from most of its members. Other rides this year include the Black River Trail Ride, to be held Aug. 6–10 in the Ozark foothills of Lesterville, Mo., and an outing at historic Fort Robinson State Park, planned Sept. 3–8 in the rugged Pine Ridge region of northern Nebraska, near Crawford.

For more than 10 years, trail riders have signed on for APHA rides that have taken them though some of the most scenic and historic countryside in the United States. As in previous years, APHA’s goal for this year’s events is nothing short of creating the ride of lifetime for participants.

APHA Executive Secretary Ed Roberts is excited about the opportunity members will have to experience riding in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, home of the Philmont Scout Ranch. Set in northeastern New Mexico, Philmont spans more than 137,000 acres of the most beautiful countryside in the nation.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this ride to our members,” said Roberts.

While the sights alone are sure to be breathtaking, riding through the majestic region on horseback is certain to be an unforgettable experience for those who attend.

It was the desire to create memorable riding opportunities that led Roberts and Ride Coordinator Pat Meade to establish the first American Paint Horse Association trail ride in 1991. The popularity of the rides, held from 1991–1995 in Missouri, and from 1996–2000 in Nebraska, prompted the association to expand its program to three rides this year.

“There have been so many people who have enjoyed these rides that we wanted to place the activities in areas that were within about 500 miles of our members,” said Roberts.

The executive secretary cited a poll showing that half of APHA’s 100,000 members consider recreational riding to be their main activity with their Paint Horse.

“We are committed to reaching out and serving those riders,” said Roberts.

In addition to its trail rides around the country, APHA also serves members with its Ride America® program. While participating in this innovative saddle-log program, members earn rewards and recognition for their individual achievements riding an American Paint Horse.

When riders enroll in Ride America, they receive an official time log and a Ride America patch. They record each hour spent riding their American Paint Horse, and as they move through seven achievement levels—from 100 to 3,000 hours—APHA records their accomplishments and rewards them with special patches. Depending on the number of hours accumulated, participants can also earn saddlebags, halters, lead ropes and saddle pads.

APHA also promotes recreational riding through the free distribution of its Guide to Recreational Riding.

The 36-page guide is packed full of useful information, from the importance of keeping horses in good condition to commonsense safety guidelines. The booklet also contains valuable tips on tack and equipment, saddling up, riding manners, trailering a horse and general horsemanship. The guide also has a special section on trail riding.

“Whether they’re riding with us in New Mexico, Nebraska or Missouri, gaining hours in our Ride America® program, or just riding along the trails in their hometowns, we want to help people do what they enjoy,” said Roberts.

“There’s a bonding that extends not only from person to person, but from rider to horse. The underlying foundation for someone’s enjoyment of trail riding is that person’s relationship with his horse. It’s so basic, especially when you consider that the founding of this country is so closely tied to the relationship of man and his horse.

“We want to help people capture that experience.”

For more information on APHA’s recreational riding program, or to receive the free Guide to Recreational Riding, write or call:

APHA Ride Coordinator
American Paint Horse Association
P.O. Box 961023
Fort Worth, Texas 76161-0023
Phone: (817) 834-2742, extension 773

Information on the APHA Ride America program can be accessed on the association’s Web site at

For information on the rides in New Mexico and Nebraska, call APHAs ride coordinator at (817) 834-2742, extension 773.

Specific information on the Black River Trail Ride, in Lesterville, Missouri, can be obtained by calling the Wilderness Lodge at 573-637-2295.

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